a revival in bootleg booze, according to
a Home Office letter to the Prime Minister
leaked to the media this week.
But the letter also predicted
the downturn could put an end to deep discounting, prompting a decrease in alcohol-fuelled violence in town centres.
"In an economic downturn we expect a significant increase in smuggling, in particular of fuel, alcohol and tobacco, but also across a wider range of goods," the letter stated.
Ministers have played down the significance of the letter, stressing it was only a draft and that much of its contents were "blindingly obvious".
But Wine & Spirit Trade Association communications chief Gavin Partington agreed
a recession may encourage illegal alcohol sales.
"Clearly times are tough and people are looking to cut back on spending," he said, "so I suppose one aspect of that may well be an increase in illicit trade.
"You could look back to the growth of cross-border trade in the 80s as evidence of this."